By Adam Harris-
WRIGLEY FIELD (CBS) – Anthony Rizzo gained financial security for a long time, agreeing to a seven-year deal, worth $41 million ($2 million signing bonus), with a team option each of the last two years for $14.5 million each year.
The Cubs gained financial peace of mind, as well.
“We get some cost certainty out of the deal,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said, sitting right next to Rizzo. “We get between one and three years of longer control for Anthony, and he gets a lot of security in the deal. I think it’s a great matchup on both sides. It is unusual because it is early, but our knowledge of Anthony and our belief in him as a person makes that possible.”
It is nice for the Cubs to lock up Rizzo for long term, not only to secure his influence on the field, but so the Cubs know what they are working with when looking to continue to improve their team.
“Players like Anthony can make a lot of money in arbitration,” Hoyer said. “He has a lot of power and he looks like he’s going to drive in a lot of runs. Those are the things that pay in arbitration. Now, as we think about other big investments, whether they be external or internal, we know what Anthony’s figure is going to be moving forward. If you can build in that cost certainty in, it allows you to think about other transactions.”
Rizzo is the second young, key player locked in for the long term for the Cubs. Starlin Castro signed a seven-year deal last year worth $60 million.
“You want a group of players that grew up together and learn to trust each other and learned how to win together,” Hoyer said. “I do think winning is contagious and once a team learns how to win together as a group I think that can really build on top of itself. Our goal is to build our core group.”
Hoyer wouldn’t answer directly if there were any other players part of that core group, not even 28-year-old starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who is playing on a one-year deal worth $2.64 million.
“It’s certainly a little different calculus with a pitcher,” Hoyer said when asked about the possibility of a long-term deal with a pitcher. “The kind of deal we did with Anthony, seven years with the potential for nine, we think that’s pretty unusual for a pitcher. You have to factor in injury more with a pitcher than with a position player, but certainly extending a guy and gaining more control is a positive.”
Samardzija is 1-5 with a 3.70 ERA so far this year.
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